Master of Arts in Special Education

Special education teachers are an exceptional group of educators - as advocates for social justice and the dignity of all people including those with disabilities. The Master of Arts in Special Education program provides candidates with advanced knowledge based on the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Content Standards to address educational learning needs and improve teaching, assessment, and programmatic strategies to enhance student performance. It should be noted that candidates completing this program will not have met the requirements for the preliminary education specialist credential.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Leadership and Policy: advocate for policy and curriculum development by utilizing the breadth and depth of special education history, pedagogy, and latest research.
  • Program Development & Organization: apply and expand content and professional knowledge to enhance instructional programs and curricula through evidence-based and innovative practices that reflect the needs of diverse populations.
  • Research & Inquiry: evaluate current research studies and methodologies using evidence-based educational research to improve curricula, instruction, or interventions.
  • Student and Program Evaluation: evaluate and analyze student achievement and program effectiveness utilizing nonbiased instruments and knowledge of research-based best practices.
  • Professional Development and Ethical Practice: exemplify professional, legal, and ethical behavior by participating in and providing opportunities for professional development that best support children with special needs, their families, schools, and the community.
  • Collaboration: implement culturally responsive collaborative and consultation structures to enhance the opportunities for students with exceptional learning needs.

Program Learning Outcomes by Emphasis Area

  • Advanced Methodology emphasis:  Utilize data based strategies to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities.
  • Autism emphasis: Implement evidence-based instructional and behavioral strategies to meet the varied needs of students across the autism spectrum.
  • Early Childhood in Special Education emphasis: Apply ECSE best practice in all aspects of service coordination and delivery.
  • Behavior Analysis emphasis: Design behavior intervention which targets and defines a socially significant behavior, creates data collection tools, implements behavior change procedures, and evaluates progress in behavior change.
  • Teaching and Learning: Apply pedagogical concepts in educational settings to meet the diverse needs of students with disabilities.

Admissions Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily fulfill graduate admission requirements for Brandman University as stated in the catalog (see the Graduate Admissions section) including meeting the grade point average for a graduate program.
  2. Two letters of recommendation are required.  These letters must be on official letterhead; must be written by individuals who are familiar with the candidate in an academic setting and who have knowledge of the candidate’s ability to successfully complete graduate courses; and, must address the candidate’s fit for the program. The letters cannot be older than two years from the date of application.
  3. Candidates must have a current special education teaching credential or take EDUU 511 Collaboration For Inclusive Schooling.
  4. Students admitting into the Behavior Analysis emphasis area must be employed at least part-time in a field of employment which uses Applied Behavior Analysis (i.e., education, medicine, social work, occupational or speech therapy).  This employment must be provided on the candidate’s application and via a resume.
  5. Applicants to the MASE/Teaching and Learning emphasis must have one year of induction completed or hold a valid California Education Specialist Clear Induction Teaching Credential earned through a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved Induction Program. If applicant has one year of induction completed, then a letter is required on District letterhead indicating the one year of completion. The letter must be signed by the applicant’s Induction coordinator or Director of Human Resources department. 

Transfer of Coursework

In the Master of Arts in Special Education, a total of six semester or nine quarter credits can be transferred into the program. These must be graduate-level courses and a grade of “B” or higher must have been earned in each course being transferred. Transferred courses can only be applied to the emphasis area; no transfer credit is permitted for the six core courses. Courses cannot be transferred in to the Behavior Analysis emphasis area. Only one course transfer is allowed in the Autism and Early Childhood Special Education emphasis areas. EDUU 670 Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education is not available for transfer.

Brandman University awards 6 semester credits towards the Advanced Methodology emphasis area for successful completion of an Education Specialist Clear Induction Program. The Education Specialist Clear Induction program must be completed prior to the student being awarded these 6 units. These 6 units can only be used towards the Advanced Methodology emphasis area.

Authorizations within the Master of Arts in Special Education: Candidates who complete an emphasis area that leads to an authorization may be eligible to be recommended prior to the completion of their degree.

Second Emphasis

It is possible to complete the MASE degree with more than one emphasis. Candidates completing a second emphasis area within one master’s degree program may not use coursework from one emphasis area to fulfill the requirements of the second.

If the second area of emphasis is completed after the initial degree has been awarded, the student will not be issued an updated diploma, nor will the student be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony a second time.  However, the second emphasis area will appear on the student’s official Brandman University transcript.  

Core (18 credits)
EDUU 600Research and Evaluation Methods3
EDUU 630Leadership and Policy in Special Education3
EDUU 631Program Development and Organization in Special Education3
EDUU 632Advanced Assessment and Program Evaluation in Special Education3
EDUU 661Collaboration in Special Education3
EDUU 633Special Education Capstone3
Emphasis Area Elective Courses12-18
When applying, students must select one emphasis area from the options below.
Total Credits30-36

Emphasis Area Elective Courses

Master of Arts in Special Education – Advanced Methodology

Brandman University awards 6 semester credits towards the Advanced Methodology emphasis area for successful completion of an Education Specialist Clear Induction Program. The Education Specialist Clear Induction program must be completed prior to the student being awarded these 6 units.

EDUU 638Advanced Assessment and Instructional Strategies for Persons with Mild/Moderate Disabilities3
EDUU 650Transitions Across the Life Span3
EDUU 660Seminar on Instructional Supports for Persons With Moderate/Severe Disabilities3
CSPU 639Advanced Positive Behavioral Supports3
Total Credits12

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Advanced Methodology must successfully complete a research project in EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone with a grade of “B” or better.

Master of Arts in Special Education – Autism

Candidates who complete this emphasis area and have an appropriate credential may be eligible to be recommended for the authorization prior to the completion of their degree. See an advisor for more information.

EDUU 575Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiologies and Characteristics3
EDUU 675Assessing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders3
EDUU 676Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, I3
EDUU 677Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, II3
Total Credits12

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Autism must successfully complete a research project in EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone with a grade of “B” or better.

Master of Arts in Special Education – Early Childhood Special Education

Candidates who complete this emphasis area and have an appropriate credential may be eligible to be recommended for the authorization prior to the completion of their degree, if the additional elective of EDUU 670 Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education is taken. See an advisor for more information.

EDUU 665Historical, Phil, and Legal Foundations of Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 666Family Guided Practices in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 667Assessment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 668Curriculum and Intervention in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
EDUU 669Consultation and Advanced Strategies in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education3
Optional elective:
EDUU 670Field Experience in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education0-3
Total Credits15-18

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education must successfully complete a research project in EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone with a grade of “B” or better.

Master of Arts in Special Education - Behavior Analysis                 

Students admitting into the Behavior Analysis emphasis area must be employed at least part-time in a field of employment which uses Applied Behavior Analysis (i.e., education, medicine, social work, occupational or speech therapy).

EDUU 636An Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDUU 637Applied Behavior Analysis: Procedures and Experimental Design3
EDUU 656Applied Behavior Analysis: Basic Technologies of Behavior Change3
EDUU 657Applied Behavior Analysis: Applications3
EDUU 658Applied Behavior Analysis: Advanced Applications3
EDUU 659Applied Behavior Analysis: Ethics3
Total Credits18

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis must successfully complete a research project in EDUU 633 Special Education Capstone with a grade of “B” or better.

Master of Arts in Special Education - Teaching and Learning

Emphasis Block Transfer (12 credits) :Brandman University awards a block of 12 semester credits for successful completion of an Education Specialist Clear Induction Credential Program. Please see an advisor for more details.

Demonstration of Mastery

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Special Education degree with an emphasis in Teaching and Learning must successfully complete a research project in EDUU 633 with a grade of “B” or better.